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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Friday, January 27, 2016.
U.S. rep Luis Gutiérrez says that President Donald Trump is using Chicago's violence surge for his "own political gain" and doesn't have any real solutions. Trump tweeted Tuesday evening that he will "send in the feds" to Chicago if the "carnage" doesn't stop. "I think what President Trump has done is simply say 'Look at the carnage' without offering a solution,'" the Democratic congressman, who represents large areas of the south and west sides, said on CNN Thursday. "What we need is a president that doesn't tweet but offers real solutions." White House press secretary Sean Spicer says that the president wants an open dialogue with Mayor Rahm Emanuel on solving the problem. "I think next is, we will get, hopefully, get a dialogue started with Mayor Emanuel, try to figure out what a path forward can be so that we get, we come up with a plan that can keep the people of Chicago safe and help stop, help ease, the problem there," Spicer said Thursday. [The Hill] [Sun-Times]
A memorial for 20-year-old Jamayah Fields turned violent Wednesday evening when six people attending the memorial were shot, including Fields's mother and a 12-year-old girl, according to DNAinfo Chicago. The vigil was taking place in a restaurant in the 500 block of East 75th when a shooter or shooters arrived and starting firing. "I know for sure that they were targeted," antiviolence activist Jedidiah Brown told the news site. He added later: "It was like an ambush. It was a planned ambush of the family." The crowd was mostly women and children, according to Roderick Sawyer, alderman of the ward where the shootings took place. [DNAinfo Chicago]
The notorious leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman may not have been extradited to Chicago, but another member of the cartel who worked as El Chapo's son's bodyguard has been. Jesus Beltran Leon was extradited to Chicago this week, where he pleaded not guilty to drug charges in court Wednesday. The 33-year-old Leon, who also goes by "El Trebol," allegedly "helped coordinate vast shipments of drugs into the U.S. for distribution," according to the Tribune. [Tribune]
Researchers at the University of Chicago Crime Labs have been trying to determine what factors caused Chicago's homicide rate to increase by 58 percent in 2016, but the reasons still aren't clear. They studied data on "social programs, mental-health funding, policing strategies, criminal-investigation clearance rates, gun ownership, and more" but still weren't able to find anything that is clearly causing the violence surge, according to the Atlantic. While observers have been pointing to the sharp decline in street stops by police as one of the causes, the researchers are hesitant to make that connection because when the New York Police Department ended its controversial stop-and-frisk policy, crime rates stayed low. "I think we should all be a little more humble about making these kinds of strong causal arguments that one thing led to another because people have been wrong in the past and people may be wrong here if they attribute this increase to that decline in street stops, because the fact of the matter is we just don't know," the crime labs' research director Max Kapustin told the magazine. [Atlantic]
Nearly half of the Willow Springs Police Department has been fired or has resigned as a result of three-year misconduct investigation. Five police officers have been fired over the past nine months, according to Mayor Alan Nowacyzyk. "The residents needed to know," Nowacyzyk told NBC5 Chicago. The internal investigation into whether or not public money was used improperly in private business is still ongoing. [NBC Chicago]
The Cubs won't be offering fans the option to print game tickets at home for the 2017 season. In order to crack down on counterfeit tickets that became a problem during the 2016 postseason, the Cubs will allow fans with single-game tickets to pick them up at will call, have them mailed to their home, or use the Major League Baseball Ballpark app for digital tickets. [DNAinfo Chicago]